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Toto Wolff Tips His Hat to McLaren, Sets Benchmark for Mercedes

Vidit Dhawan

Toto Wolff Tips His Hat to McLaren, Sets Benchmark for Mercedes

McLaren have arguably been the most improved team since the start of the 2023 season. For a majority of the first half of the 2023 campaign, the team even struggled to get into the points. And now they seem to be the closest challengers to Red Bull at the moment. Looking at McLaren’s improvement, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has set a benchmark for his side.

When asked to comment upon McLaren’s remarkable turnaround, Wolff replied (as quoted by Junaid on X), “I think it’s a fantastic recovery story. When you look at where McLaren was 12 months ago, I think they barely got out of Q1. And now they’re literally fighting fair and square for race victories”.

After registering a total of nine podiums in 2023, McLaren finally got the all-important win this season when Lando Norris beat Max Verstappen in Miami. Although Norris had some luck going his way to get the lead from the Dutchman, once he got it, he won on merit as he was the fastest driver on the track during that race.

It is this kind of improvement from McLaren that gives Wolff the confidence that it is possible to have such an uptick in performance if the “right steps” are taken to improve the car. Although Mercedes have struggled for more than two campaigns now, Wolff is yet optimistic that his side can return to the front and eventually fight for wins.

Toto Wolff is optimistic Mercedes will make “progress”

In another interview, Toto Wolff explained how Mercedes have made positive steps to reduce the gap to the three frontrunners: Red Bull, Ferrari, and McLaren. As quoted by RacingNews365, he said, “If you look at the gap forward and our closest competitors, you will see progress”.

Although Mercedes may have discovered more pace in the W15, they may not have discovered as much gains as some of their rivals may have with their cars. As a result, the gap between the Silver Arrows and the likes of Ferrari and McLaren seems to have been increasing instead of decreasing.

Over the past few weeks, Lewis Hamilton has explained how he has been working tirelessly with the Mercedes engineers to discover more performance. For several race weekends, he has used different setups even though on occasion it may have cost him dearly.

As Mercedes engineer Andrew Shovlin said in a recent interview, “If you don’t change anything, you won’t learn anything”. The Silver Arrows seem to be experimenting with their car, with the hope that they will at some point find the right setup and balance for the W15 that will help them close the gap to the frontrunners.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Vidit Dhawan

Vidit Dhawan


Vidit Dhawan is the F1 writer and Editor at The SportsRush. He fell in love with the sport at first sight when F1 visited India in 2011. The noise and the racing action from lights out and away we go to the chequered flag are what keeps him at the edge of his seat at all times. Vidit has been a lifelong Fernando Alonso fan and sees Charles Leclerc as the future of the sport. Other than F1, he also follows football and tennis closely.

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